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Materials drivers for the 21st century and the role of electron microscopy

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After a brief explanation on the origin of this talk, a working definition of sustainable growth will be proposed. The major differences between developed and developing countries will be identified. Using an approach borrowed from Ashby, it is possible to categorise materials in terms of price per weight of manufactured products. The possible role that these different categories can play in terms of sustainable growth will be examined, notably in the light of a predictable energy shortage for the 21st century. This leads to an analysis, limited to metallic materials, of some major shortcomings and their possible origin, essentially for large volume commodity materials, with low added value. Indeed these consume significant amounts of energy both in their production and in their use, as well as playing a key role in energy production.

Finally, an attempt will be made to identify the possible key role of electron microscopy in the improvement of existing metallic materials and in the development of “new” high volume alloys and composites.

This talk is part of the Electron Microscopy Group Seminars series.

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